Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: November, 2006 (40) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 40

November 21, 2006 at 5:53pm

Buy an Artist Coffee Day: Tuesdays with Riedener

It looked like potentially Claudia Riedener and I were the only Buy an Artist Coffee Day participants when we were in the Mandolin Café after lunch today.  While she had a latte, I had a pearl jasmine tea and an hour of dish on the state of art in Tacoma and projects afoot for Ixia Tile.

While Riedener isn’t going to be attending any opening gala festivities for Masa to view the public viewing her tile installations there (opening delayed until Nov. 30), she will be enjoying the food there a few days after the “grand” opening to help celebrate a friend’s birthday.  Her sneak peak at the menu left her impressed and anticipating, and her brief descriptions have me even more excited to see and taste the Masa experience.

The Can-Do project on Sixth Ave is well underway but not yet complete, and ideas for more public art are percolating even as she and I sip.  She lets me in on a couple of ideas involving a couple of institutions of learning â€" one that might be a way to beautify some very public (transport) spaces, and another that might be a collaboration with an institution of glass art, creating a “Gateway to the Ave.”  Hmmm.  Sounds very cool and very ambitious.

Yet another topic we discussed, one close to my heart, the state of the arts in T-Town. 
Yep, it’s a flourishing, cool scene. And yep, as with anything grass-roots and independent to it’s core, there are a couple of looming, ominous threats against this independence.

I look at it like this: our arts scene is like a kid on the cusp of adolescence.  It’s being pulled in different directions, trying to determine its identity.  There are a couple of key players who want to be strong-armed parents, and push this child into a specific direction. Fortunately, this kid has a crew of aunties and grandparents who are determined to let the identity of its scene be what it develops into. 

This semi-poetic thought has hit my mind  as the jasmine tea has steeped to maximum intensity, and the caffeine has hit my bloodstream.  The ambiance of the Mandolin will do that to you, I guess. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

November 22, 2006 at 9:11am

Party the night before Turkey Day

A fresh, tasty weekly Volcano hits the streets today.  Here are a couple of worthy shows tonight that were printed in last week's issue. 

Donald H. Rumsfeld fills in for Matt Driscoll to spread the word on Turkeypalooza tonight at the Java Jive.  Check it here.

I dare anyone to successfully smuggle a bad mood into Chopstix.

And the rest of tonight's nightlife options are here.

November 25, 2006 at 12:04pm

Holiday cheer gets to wait in line

What had me braving traffic on the heaviest, nastiest shopping day of the year?  I owed my kid a cool thing after she complied with my “no tears at day care rule.”

We went to Toys R Us, quite possibly one of my least favorite places on the planet in the best of times, in part because she wanted to go there, in part because I wanted a dose of Christmas cheer.

Getting there was almost half of the hassle. Between Costco, REI, JoAnn Fabrics, Video Only, Compaq computers, and oh yeah, the Tacoma Mall, that little patch of road system off of I-5, from 38th to Steele Street is more congested than an allergic person after a crying jag in the middle of a hayride.

And then there’s the parking lot traffic, which isn’t any better than the main roads.

Finally, we were in Toys R US, and I was amazed to see things looking quite civilized; only one little boy tore through the aisles on a pre-MX (a BMX with training wheels).

And then it hit me.  The crowd was mostly grandparents and parents sans-kids, shopping for Christmas. One woman commented to a long-lost friend,  “Yeah, I’m really running behind this year.” 

I didn’t have the heart to tell her my family’s Christmas Eve-eve shopping tradition.

After quite some time, Madame Greedyface found The Perfect Thing (A Little Mermaid jewelry set, after investing 15 minutes gazing at Barbie stuff.) 

So then we went looking for the line.  Turns out that organized strip of people lined up nearly around the store were the line.  Toys R Us had the foresight to organize one big feeder-line that fed into individual lanes.  The feeder line moved well, but our cashier line was seriously speed-impaired. 

Finally, 20 minutes of line-waiting later, we were off to the lot, and then stuck in Steele Street traffic again.

Somebody, remind me: why do we love this season? â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Business, Tacoma,

November 25, 2006 at 4:23pm

Tacoma pre-Thanksgiving bar hopping

Natasha_39 While most people are pulling their menu items together for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner or conjuring their Christmas wish list, my thoughts are usually far from such cliché conventions.

Being the tenured town drunk that I am, I’d rather spend my time figuring out where the scene of the crime will be for holiday boozing.

Some people think I’m crazy in doing so. They think I should have more of an emphasis on family (even though my family consists of one person locally), but to me, holidays are just like any other day â€" and they’re usually a great excuse for libations.

The day before Thanksgiving is HUGE for partying. Everyone is home for the holiday, and most are looking to get their swerve on, especially since the only thing they have to do is watch football and tryptophan out.

This year the place to be was the Parkway. OMG, I’ve never seen so many people there. They were hosting a Winter Beer Fest, and people were waiting in line three layers deep to get in on the action. It seemed like kegs were blowing every half hour, and the entire bar cheered with the advent of each. Phew, that was fun. Luckily, I got to avoid the crowd and hang at a table in the back with Lovely Linda and everyone’s favorite Parkway couple, Matt and Sarah.

Following, I continued down I Street for the other holiday hotspot: Magoo’s. This establishment is absolutely off the chain during the holidays. Last year on Christmas the place was shut down a little early because they were so over maximum capacity. Now that’s alotta holiday cheer. On this pre-Thanksgiving warm-up the usual suspects in Troy and Curtis were sitting next to me at the bar and people continued to pour in all night.

When it came to Thanksgiving proper, my plan was to hit Doyle’s, then Magoo’s for late night fun. I never actually made it to Magoo’s. It was Danny the bartender’s birthday, Russ was bartending, the blue-eyed bachelor Moony had been consuming since noon, and Intel Jeff and Awesome Andrew and the Dearest Damon were there. We were sitting at a table that Moony had placed right in the middle of the joint. There’s nothing like a holiday with hot guys.

Russ was kind enough to let me plug in my iPod and I rocked several playlists, the highlight of which was two hours and a half hours of '80s hits. Everyone requested a volume crank during “Come on Eileen.”

I also sneaked in some cheesy “Livin’ in the '90s” stuff, and of course, Danny did the centipede on the concrete all the way down the bar.

Now when it comes to Christmas, I’m sure I’ll be splitting my time between the three aforementioned establishments.

Deck the halls, bitches! â€" Natasha

Filed under: Club Hopping, Natasha, Tacoma,

November 27, 2006 at 12:17pm

Fantasy Lights

Although the name "Fantasy Lights" might denote less wholesome entertainment, especially in Spanaway.  But actually, a night spent on a short drive in a warm car couldn't be more family friendly.

Fantasylightsone The Pacific Northwest's largest holiday light drive-through event is open for cars, mini vans and buses through December at Pierce County Parks and Recreation's 12th annual Fantasy Lights display at Spanaway Park. It is expected to be viewed by more than 125,000 adults and children by the time it closes on New Year's Eve.

The drive-through display features nearly 300 elaborate displays and thousands of sparkling lights during the two-mile route along the shores of Spanaway Lake.

New attractions include Santa's Skyway Express, Bulb Blitz, and a tribute to public servants. 

Fantasylightstwo The drive is open seven days a week from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the gate for $13 per car/van or $45 for a tour bus.  Advance discount tickets cost $10 per car/van and may be purchased at the Lakewood Community Center or Sprinker Recreation Center
in Spanaway. â€" Steve Dunkelberger

Filed under: Culture, Steve Dunkelberger,

November 27, 2006 at 1:49pm

Duff McKagen's LOADED plays benefit

Musicians can be such degenerates. If you wanna count on someone to let you down, look to a guy in a band. Yet, when things get tough, and things like health apply the suction, musicians are there steadfast and true.

Don Robertson of Idol Management just sent me this press release on a Dec. 22 benefit for Jerry Allen at Hell's Kitchen.  Besides the incredible line up, let's all be there to help out Jerry. â€" Brad Allen

  • Don Robertson writes: A benefit show for Jerry Allen’s Cancer fund was announced today, featuring an all-star lineup of northwest bands.  Jerry Allen is a good friend of Justin McDonald (Top Heavy Crush, The Jet City Fix) and Geoff Reading (LOADED, New American Shame, Top Heavy Crush). When they found out Jerry had cancer and that insurance wouldn’t cover all the expenses they decided to help. Headlining the show will be the reunion of LOADED featuring front man Duff McKagen of Velvet Revolver and former Guns ‘n Roses. Also returning to the stage with Loaded are Geoff Reading of New American Shame, Top Heavy Crush, Jeff Rouse of Alien Crime Syndicate and Sirens Sister, and Mike Squires of Alien Crime Syndicate and The Long Winters.

Benefit for Jerry Allen’s Cancer Fund
Dec. 22, 2006 @ 9 p.m.
Hell’s Kitchen
Duff McKagen’s LOADED
Top Heavy Crush
Jeff Angel of Post Stardom Depression
$10 at TicketWeb

Filed under: Concert Alert, Tacoma,

November 28, 2006 at 11:51am

Snow cancels Lyric Brass Quintet

Tonight's Regency Concert Series: Lyric Brass Quintet program is canceled due to ice ice baby. The concert was scheduled for tonight, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. in Pacific Lutheran University's Lagerquist Concert Hall. The concert will be rescheduled at a later date.

Filed under: Culture,

November 28, 2006 at 4:40pm

Holiday drinking around Tacoma

We see the eggnog come out in the coffee shops and grocery stores and we know the time of year.  Then there are the especially fine barristas who create the holiday coffee drinks to wake us up and make us happy.  Beyond the basic Starbucks gingerbread or eggnog lattes you can find the peppermint love creations at Coffeezaun, a little coffee hut gem on Pearl Street, or the organic Roasted Chestnut lattes at Babblin’ Babs’ Bistro.


But these are the holidays, where shopping pressures and card-sending deadlines loom, and family love often feels more noose-like than warm and fuzzy.

Once upon a time, I was a domestic goddess at the holidays, I met the pressures head with a smile, and a glass of home-made Advocaat (a deliciously vanilla-y smooth vodka eggnog) or a latte with homemade Irish cream, or an eggnog latte with a liberal dose of Kahlua.  Now that, my friends, is kicking holiday cheer up a notch.

Now that I’m no longer thoroughly goddess-like (and since my espresso maker has gone to Heaven) I have discovered my fine cocktail-making friends in Tacoma are here to help.
And I’m here to share.

Michelle at Harbor Lights promises that, whatever the bar menu will feature for the holidays, they will help you “get warm and toasty.”

Greg at Alfred's Cafe and Bubble Room will offer a hot buttered rum with nutmeg, cinnamon, a bit of orange, and of course rum â€" Captain Morgans and Myers â€" carrying on the “toasty” theme.

Damon at the Swiss offers up “old traditional faves” â€" coffee nudges, spiced rum, and the old standard, hot mulled wine.

Noah at Primo Grill heated up my world with his Primo Diablo, a blend of Italian coffee, Frangelico, Grand Marnier, Baileys, and Kahlua, poured into a sugared mug and finished with whip and an orange peel.  I almost proposed marriage to it, though I think I may have to give another guy a shot at my hand first.

That guy would be Aaron at El Gaucho, who had me at “Hot Apple Pie” â€" a martini with Tuaca as well as an apple liqueur, and hot apple cider.  El Gaucho will also re-offer an espresso classic for the season, because nothing says “Christmas Eve” like a sleepless night.

For non-twitchy sleep, there’s Tara, from Stanley and Seafort's, offering up a hot buttered rum, which is made with a specialty batter from a local ice cream company.

Also non-twitchy, but possibly sleep (or happiness)-inducing, Heather’s offering from the Sea Grill: an from-scratch eggnog with brandy, bourbon, and rum.  If you want to be a twitchy-drinker, there’ll be nudges with the holiday Baileys’ (peppermint and caramel) or regular old eggnog with Goldschlager.

Here’s to Merry Holidays! â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

November 29, 2006 at 10:55am

Tacoma Link & Drink

To celebrate this fabulous weather the Weekly Volcano has decided to give you something to celebrate with â€" namely, booze.

Well, it's not really our idea.  But there's booze!

Tacoma's newest event, The Link & Drink, will begin Saturday, Dec. 2 at Alfred's Cafe & Bubble Room. Go to Alfred's at 6 p.m. and drink.  Drink off this weather.  Then join 40 fellow drinkers as they hope on the Tacoma Light Rail to drink at four other downtown Tacoma alcohol establishments.  Link and drink.  Drink and Link.  Pick up your passport for $2 and get it stamped at each stop.  Link and drink and stamp.  Stamp and drink and Link.  The passports are super cool with original artwork donate by local artists.

The official end time is 10:15 p.m., but you know how that goes.

There is only one downside included in the small print, and that's that you must be at least 21. (Sorry kids. It will come soon enough.)  And there are only 40 spots so reserve your spot here. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

November 29, 2006 at 12:01pm

Project:U Happy Hour/Karaoke

Project:U and a celebrity bartender will be at the Swiss for happy hour followed by a night of karaoke. The tips received by the celebrity bartender will be donated to United Way’s Community Solutions Fund. â€" Brad Allen

  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 5 p.m., karaoke at 9 p.m.
  • The Swiss, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, WA
  • For more information, call Stacey Clements at 253.820.2680.
Filed under: Club Hopping, Tacoma,

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